Having spent a long time in Sacramento, do you ever wonder are you your homeland? Is Sacramento your homeland? Or do you identify with a place your ancestors left many generations ago? With all the patriotic songs I’ve been listening to, I’m wondering where on Earth is your homeland and my homeland? I haven’t the slightest notion of where my homeland is outside of Sacramento or once a year, San Francisco or the surrounding areas of California within 200 miles. If I say I am my homeland do I picture Old Sacramento downtown by the steamers that used to offer trips by river to San Francisco in the 19th century? Or is the idea of a homeland someplace exotic, distant in time, and very familiar?
Check out the uTube video by Malek Jandali, “I am my homeland.” Compare this video with “Mein Shtetele Belz” uTube video. Which would you feel as a homeland if you now lived far away or were half one and half the other with ancestors from both ethnicities now in Sacramento? Which would you identify with as a homeland? If torn between the two, then does Sacramento or San Francisco become you as your homeland? How close do you feel to your homeland?
Does a song about your ‘ancestral’ homeland make you think of another time and place or of Sacramento as your homeland? How does media, such as songs about homelands bring you to get in touch with your culture(s)? That all depends on whether you have a family that has embraced or stepped back from what is perceived as an ancestral homeland. There’s an ancestral diet, but what about the homeland that is sometimes controlled by how others see your family. And where is your homeland when you have many cultures in your background? How do you feel about Sacramento being your homeland compared to your ancestral homeland? And which ancestor do you choose or do you include all of them if you’re multi-ethnic?
Where is your homeland when you are mixed with 10 different ethnic groups? Check out the video, Watani Ana, which means “I am my homeland.” Are you your homeland? Am I my homeland? How about a Sacramento homeland? Which one of the 10 different ethnic groups do I call my homeland? Is your homeland what other people say you look like or where you live now? When it comes to a homeland, I have to go with the only homeland I know for many years, which is Sacramento, California. I am my Sacramento in sunny California. How does that sound?
The idea is that we’re all united for human rights, democracy, and freedom according to the U.S. Constitution. But I wonder what all the different diverse ethnic groups here are thinking. Sure, they want equal rights for all the diversity in each country. What would I like? Probably to identify with one or more ethnic groups. How about all those ethnic groups? Who says you have to be 100% of any specific one.
The point is to be united with others in some patriotric unity for democracy, freedom, and human rights for all. When I listen to songs singing “I am my homeland,” the only homeland I know of as did my great grandparents is the USA. And that’s made up of a lot of people from many different places united in one goal to be free to choose one’s path in life.
So, folks, are you your homeland. As for me, which one do I choose? At least the USA represents all of them. I have to go with the food and music that I enjoy listening to. And that’s the music that feels joyful and healing.
When mom said to me 60 years ago when I was in elementary school, pick a faith and choose which one you feel safest in, I chooses them all. When she said pick an ethnic group that represents what you like most, I selected many, usually the most colorful and musical, and art-related cultures. Since my family has so many different people as a man from one culture married a woman from another culture, I have a lot of choices to include in my homeland.
What’s most important is the mood, tone, and texture and the variety of the cultures. So where on the globe is your homeland? In the future I’d be saying, where in this universe or that universe is your homeland? And somebody might be answering, “Oh, that galaxy over there.” How do you choose a homeland when you have so many? We’re all part of the human flowering. So where is your homeland? And do you identify with it or with the country in which you now live?